Bauxite miner pushes government to support development of flagship project
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Australian Bauxite is pulling out all the stops to bring its second high-grade bauxite mine in Queensland into development next year, a project it views is a potential game-changer.
The ASX-listed, Sydney company (ASX:ABX) which is already mining in Tasmania, is in the process of getting its Binjour project in central Queensland into production.
Binjour is the company’s biggest and highest grade bauxite project with 28 million tonnes of high-grade bauxite.
Speaking at the Mining 2017 Resources Convention in Brisbane, Australian Bauxite chief executive Ian Levy said the timing was right to bring Binjour into production.
“Binjour has been on our books now for four or five years,” Mr Levy said. “The timing was never right but we feel that this is the bottom of the cycle.
“We have a customer in India that has an alumina refinery and wants to enter into an offtake [sales] agreement. It is time now to push this project hard.”
Australian Bauxite and its Indian-based marketing partner Rawmin Mining and Industries are pushing ahead in talks with local authorities, potential customers and banks on development plans for the 28 million tonne bauxite resource at Binjour.
Binjour can supply bauxite during the Queensland dry season — which is the wet season in India when Indian ports are closed, Mr Levy said.
Meanwhile, Australian Bauxite has been in talks with government officials for early start-up at the project.
“We have already alerted the federal government and State government of our intentions,” Mr Levy said.
“At the same time, we have to push government. Government has to upgrade half a dozen bridges to allow us to run large trucks so it has to be a joint effort.
“We are getting excellent support from the State government and we are hoping the federal government will get away from its day-to-day hassles and start focusing on job creation in this part of Queensland which is an area that needs development,” Mr Levy added.
The company is seeking assistance from the Federal Government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Package scheme.
The company has been mining bauxite since December 2014 from its site at Bald Hill, Tasmania and has been selling into the cement and fertiliser industries, with its most recent sale amounting to 30,000 tonnes of bauxite and shipment scheduled for September 2017.
Bauxite is used in the production of aluminium.
Shares in Australian Bauxite were trading this morning at 17c, valuing the company at around $24 million.
Vertical Events’ premier flagship event, the Mining 2017 Resources Convention, is being held at the Brisbane Hilton August 29 and 30.